Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Council Races: Decisions, decisions

An out-of-towner driving through Fredericksburg might think Debby Girvan and Tom Tomzak were running mates, if the number of yards in town sporting both candidates’ signs was any indication.

One of the yards with Girvan and Tomzak placards is that of Marguerite Young, a longtime community leader. You may have noticed that Young appeared in the newspaper ad Tomzak’s campaign ran last Sunday, holding a "Team Tomzak" sign and standing next to the candidate. Young was also on the front cover of a glossy mailer that Girvan’s campaign sent out this week. On the front, Young and Girvan are pictured sitting and talking on a porch. Inside, there’s a picture of Young with this statement attributed to her: "When the community really needs something we can count on Debby Girvan to fight for us."

Non-exclusive endorsements (which could probably more accurately be called non-endorsements) are not new in this race. The Rev. Lawrence Davies, another respected community leader, said last month that he supported both Girvan and Tomzak.

But they still seem strange to me, so I called Young this morning and asked if she had authorized both appearances. She said she had agreed to be photographed with both candidates and asked me to read to her what was attributed to her on the Girvan mailer.

"It’s alright," she said of the statement. "I am sure I have approved whatever it is she put on there."

She then said she’s supporting both candidates.

"I see too many good things about both of them. If anybody who is going to be voting asks my opinion, I give the good sides of both," she said. "My job is to get people to the polls and vote."

Specifically, Young said she likes the fact that Girvan "does get the issues out there."

"But I also like very much that Tom is able to get the majority of council to vote on something and move ahead, and that’s the important thing."

Young also said she strongly supports at-large candidate Mary Katherine Greenlaw because of her record of community service.

As for the double signs, Young acknowledges she’s gotten some questions about them. She said her emphasis is on educating residents about the candidates and making sure they go to the polls on Tuesday.

"Signs don’t vote," she said. "People vote."